Tom Waddle knows underdogs; by all accounts, he spent an entire career in pro football as one. Now, he’s lending his support to an unlikely – but very special – group of underdogs facing extraordinary challenges – local area victims of domestic abuse, seeking the opportunity to rebuild their lives and provide for themselves and their children.
The much-beloved former Chicago Bears receiver (1989-1994), now a Chicago-area broadcaster and commentator, has endorsed an unprecedented effort by more than 100 local Chicago-area Bumper to Bumper Certified Service Centers to refurbish, then donate, roadworthy automobiles to victims of domestic abuse. The appeal is simple: you can help these underdogs beat the odds simply by donating a vehicle today. Like Waddle, they will overcome the challenges of rebuilding their lives beginning with the simple gift of a roadworthy vehicle. Additionally, the new tax laws actually favor donors whose vehicles are gifted to worthy recipients, and program vehicles are urgently needed.
The Bumper to Bumper Charity Cars Campaign brings small auto service business owners together with local charitable agencies in order to help recovering victims of domestic abuse rebuild their lives. How? By meeting a single, pressing need: give them a reliable car so they can hold down a job, take care of the kids, and adapt to a new life free of abuse and danger.
Revered by fans for his superior hands, and especially his astonishing ability to shake off horrifyingly brutal hits from behemoth defenders while making the show-stopping catch, Waddle understands the importance of never giving up even in the face of tremendous personal adversity. An undrafted free-agent out of Boston College, Waddle was repeatedly cut, then re-signed by the Bears. In a sport in which he was always considered too small and too slow, Waddle was often referred to as “the slow white guy.” Nonetheless, he delighted fans and teammates alike; many still gleefully recall his "impossible" stunning of Atlanta’s Deion Sanders, the NFL’s fastest man, by burning him for a touchdown in 1992. Spurned by Bears pariah and former coach Dave Wannstadt in contract negotiations in his final season, and admitting that at the tender age of 28 he had endured enough physical punishment to last a lifetime, Waddle instead opted for retirement and a new career in broadcasting, confounding his critics yet again. Tom Waddle understands starting over from scratch.
The 100+ Chicago-area Bumper to Bumper Certified Service Centers have joined forces with The Original Charity Cars organization (Charity Cars, Inc. a 501-C-3 Non-profit charity, FED ID #59-3362703), which specializes in providing roadworthy vehicles to qualified recipients.
The Bumper to Bumper Charity Cars Campaign will culminate in a single, grand award ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005, at the Rosemont Theater, located at 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018. The event, which runs from 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., will feature prominent local public officials and celebrity guests, a DJ, a vehicle safety check lane and children’s car seat inspection lane. The highlight is the awarding of the refurbished vehicles to more than 100 individual recipients, selected by a number of local shelters and other agencies.
"Our members decided to help by doing what they do best – maintaining, servicing and repairing automobiles and light trucks – in a novel way. They decided to donate their own shop labor to help a group that most people simply ignore," says Phill Porpora, president of Lee Auto Parts in Des Plaines, IL, a distributor that is donating the necessary replacement parts for the campaign. "We’re delighted that Tom Waddle has offered his help to our cause."
"The response from local agencies that serve the domestic abuse client has been tremendous," says Campaign Chairperson Dale Leigh, an automotive management consultant and trainer. "They all immediately saw that this program is different, and that real people will benefit. They’re as excited as we are about how this will help victims achieve the important and necessary step of independence that having their own vehicle brings."
All refurbished vehicles will carry a nationwide Bumper to Bumper Confidence-Plus 12-month/12,000-mile warranty on all replacement parts and labor provided under the auspices of the program. Charity Cars, Inc. also provides the initial down payment to secure appropriate vehicle insurance, as well as license and title fees, to the recipients. Donors are eligible for income tax deductions based on the disposition of their vehicle donation.
For more information, or to donate a vehicle to this project, please contact: R. Dale Leigh, CPC, Chairperson, The Bumper to Bumper Charity Cars Campaign, Phone: (847) 778-1739, e-mail: [email protected]